June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Women in Engineering
26.1200.1 - 26.1200.7
On-Ramping to Academia: Women's Experiences of Transitioning fromNonacademic to Academic CareersRecruiting female faculty from other universities to increase women's participation in scienceand engineering departments fails to increase the number of female faculty nationally. We offer anew approach to faculty recruitment. We coined the term "on-ramping" to describe how womenwith PhDs in science and engineering can leverage their nonacademic skills and experiences intocareers as faculty members.We used ethnographic methods to collect and analyze semi-structured interviews about theexperiences of ten female PhDs in science and engineering who successfully transitioned to afaculty position from industry. Our data revealed three core barriers that can influence theviability of transitioning to academia, particularly for women. These were the challenges ofcommunicating the value of nonacademic career skills in the academic context; the financialcosts of the transition; and gender discrimination.We found that the major reward sought by these faculty members was the ability to leveragetheir nonacademic career skills to effect change in the academic context. Our data suggest that“on-ramping” can create a new pool of highly qualified candidates to help diversify the faculty inscience and engineering. Our findings have implications for alternative hiring and recruitmentpractices in higher education.
Carrigan, C., & Riskin, E. A., & O'Leary, K., & Yen, J., & Mody-Pan, P. N., & O'Donnell, M. (2015, June), On-ramping to Academia: Women's Experiences of Transitioning from Nonacademic to Academic Careers Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24537
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